Four Filipino cue masters led by Jeffrey De Luna and Johann Chua earned spots in the knockout stage of the prestigious 2016 World 9-Ball Open being held at the Pudong Tangzhen Culture and Sports Center in Shanghai, China.
De Luna outclassed Yang Chingshun in the first round, 9-6, and Ke Bing Yi in the second round, 9-6, in Group D while Chua toppled Hussain Bashater Abdulmajeed in the opening round, 9-6, and Denis Grabe in the second round, 9-7, in Group C.
Joining them in the main draw are former two-time World 10-Ball champion Rubilen Amit and 2016 Amway eSpring International Women 9-ball Championship Chezka Centeno, who scored impressive wins in their respective group stage matches.
Amit stamped her class over Gu Zhengqin, 7-1, in Group F while Centeno clobbered Choi Sollip, 7-2, in Group C of the tournament sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association.
Still gunning for spots are Lee Vann Corteza, Alex Pagulayan, Jeffrey Ignacio and Carlo Biado, who all need one more win in group stage to advance to the knockout stage.
Corteza outplayed Wen Yu, 9-8, (Group F); Pagulayan trounced Fan Zhisong, 9-6, (Group H); Ignacio blasted Gregory Harada, 9-3, (Group E); and Biado thumped Robert Foldvari, 9-6, (Group E).
In the next round, Corteza battles Fu Jianbo, Pagulayan takes on Wan Can, Ignacio meets Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz and Biado tackles Mario He.
Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Dennis Orcollo and Warren Kiamco were the first Filipino casualties after absorbing two-straight losses in group stage.
Orcollo lost to Wu Kunlin (4-9) and John Morra (5-9) while Kiamco succumbed to Aloysius Yapp (8-9) and Thorsten Hohmann (7-9).
The tournament has a total prize fund of $373,600 with the men’s champion pocketing $40,000 and the women’s titlist getting $36,000.
EMIL C. NOGUERA